This isn’t an explanation!

Your NZ

So Chauvel is saying, that the Minister will pick and choose which ‘brands’ should have a minimum price… I see the lawyers having a field-day with that one…

Chauvel clarified things a bit via email but confirmed the open ended ability of ‘the Minister’ to set an unrestricted minimum price.

A minimum pricing regime could simply target that product, say by providing for a ceiling or cap of say $12 per bottle of wine so that other beverages were not affected. That would still double the price of the cheapest existing wine which can be bought at the moment for $6. Or it could be more complex.

So ‘it could be double’.

Obviously it would need not to create unintended incentives to purchase other products in lieu of cheap wine on which to preload, or to penalize responsible drinkers.

I don’t know how doubling the price of bottles of cheaper wine would not create all sorts of ‘unintended’ incentives and disincentives.

And any increase would penalise responsible drinkers. This sounds like trying to reassure responsible drinkers to their faces – while whacking them in the back pocket.

All this SOP would do is allow price to go into the mix.

With wide ministerial powers, no limitations, and unknown intentions.

Alcohol abuse is a complex and difficult problem to address, but much more effort needs to aim at the problems rather than catching everyone in the crossfire.


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  • Cactus Kate

    Given Chucky shares my tastes in fine booze, I see this as a fabulous policy. Although I defend the right of the poor to get shit faced. Their lives would be intolerable without lashings of cheap and nasty piss.

    • Pukakidon

       Chucky also shares you taste in womens clothing as well. Does that mean the selective policy will see mens clothing more expensive that womans clothing if Labour gets in.

  • LesleyNZ

    When are Labour going to wake up that cause of the “binge drinking culture” is not the drink – it is the culture that is the problem. Too late to change it now. We have a couple of generations who have grown with freedom and little correction – so this is the result. You reap what you sow. Unless there is big social shift back towards those old fashioned values of yesteryear where respect, self control and thinking of someone other than yourself is taught – there will be no change.

    • Pete George

      Lesley, the Kiwi drinking culture goes back a long way. The infamous 6 o’clock swill was infamous until the late sixites.

      But it goes back to early European days. In the early gold mining days bars were built almost as soon as new goldfields were discovered. Miners worked hard, then went to town and drank hard in a short time, then back to work.

      And you could take it back further to the British Isles where self control with liquor was frequently absent.

      • LesleyNZ

        You are right Pete George – but the culture I am talking about is not that one. The one we saw in Queen St is very different. More than just drunks.

      • There is an error here licensing hours in UK were really only introduced in World War 1.

    • La la land

      So when was “yesteryear” as you put it? And can you honestly say that the type of people abusing alcohol now weren’t back then – or did we just not hear about it? No popular literature of the time exposing the underbelly of society back then?

      • LesleyNZ

        There are a lot more young ones la la land – these days.

      • Greg M

         A lot more young ones with money now, Lesley.
        When I was an 18 yo apprentice, by the time I paid board, the HP on my motorbike and petrol to go in it, I didn’t have any money left for pissing up.

      • James Gray

        Thanks to the credit cruch, the wont let you get an HP these days unless you have oodles of money left over for pissing up.

      • la la land

        my point was Lesley that people were still abusing alcohol – the attitude was still there. There was no glorious yesteryear that involved people treating alcohol with respect.

  • tarkwin

    That load of tripe from Charlie pretty much sums it up, Labour are totaly hopeless – they almost make the Greens look good.

  • middleagedwhiteguy

    I’d say no Labour minister would touch the price of Lion Red.

    • davewin

       or Chardonnay

  • Blokeintakapuna

    Labour harp on and shrill about the cost of wine in supermarkets – but try and buy any alcohol from the supermarket – it’s not overly as straight forward as you would think. The usually young checkout operator usually needs to get the supervisor to swipe their security pass thingy so the operator can then complete the transaction. Anyone looking even slightly less than 25 y/o gets asked for ID.
    The “root cause” is not the booze – but the binge drinking culture we have – like LesleyNZ has already pointed out.
    I’ve heard the binge drinking culture goes back to the days when the pubs all had to close at 6pm – so workmen would get to the pub ASAP, buy as much as they could before 6pm, then pour it down their necks as quick as possible – before then driving home to the good wife, a cooked meal and warm slippers in front of the fire…

    • gazzaw

      Those 6pm swill days were pretty awful BiT. It wasn’t just workmen who got pissed before 6pm, the white collar workers were just as bad. I can remember as a kid getting on the tram in Newmarket in the evenings after going to the movies in school holidays. There were office blokes clutching paper bags with half gallon flagons of beer for home consumption, if they were caught short pissing in the aisle or at the trams stops. It was all class. I would imagine that more than a few good wives got a good biffing if their cooked meals & warm slippers weren’t ready.

      • la la land

        We blame a lot on the 6 oclock swill but alcohol abuse and bad attitudes towards it have always been present in NZ. The only difference is now with equality women are free to partake too. The change has to start with us – the parents of the next generation. Getting totally pissed needs to become uncool for any change to happen. In Europe you are seen as a complete dick if you get trashed. In NZ you are seen as a “Legend”. 

  • Mark D

    “With wide ministerial powers, no limitations, and unknown intentions.”It seems to me that ministerial abuse is a much bigger problem than alcohol abuse.
    Just what we need another policy to give ministers power to govern by regulation, like they haven’t abused every previous opportunity.
    Perhaps we make the people abusing alcohol responsible for their own actions for a change and stop penalising everyone else. No, Labours never going to do that, it’s just a shame that it’s a foreign concept to National as well.

  • Mitch

    Australia had a good laugh with this kinda plan. They went nuts raising the price of ‘alco-pops’, something like $50.00 for a 24 pack of Bundy Rum & Coke which was the main drink. The net effect in Mount Isa where I was living was that it was cheaper for kids to get their brothers, sisters or whoever else to buy a couple of 1L bottles of the regular Bundy Rum spirit, and plenty of coke for the whole tribe. On a ‘standard drink’ basis, the drinkers, kids included, actually saved about 50%.

    Why not just be honest and say “Well we’re fucking smokers in the ass, drinkers are the next obvious hole to ram it in when we need a salary bump!”

    • Pukakidon

       This is what you get with the nanny state, once they have bullied one group such as the Smokers they then start on the drinkers, after the holier than thou have finished persecuting drinkers who is next? 

      • James Gray

        My bet’s on the model railroad enthusiasts.

  • Cheap chardonnay will obviously be exempt, or is Pinot Gris now the preferred tipple of the chattering classes

  • ConwayCaptain

    Go back to the UK when Hogarth published his cartoons.  Gin Lane, drunk for a ha’penny dead drunk for a penny.

    In the sea ports in the UK there were so many pubs you could stay in the same street and not be able to visit them in a week.

    In the old Royal Docks in London and the pubs had beer lined up on the counter at 0600 and the wharfies would drink 4-6 pints before they started work.  Same at lunchtime and the same at knock off time.

    In Portrsmouth when there was a HUGE RN every other building in the main street was a PUB!!

    In Scandinavia where booze costs an arm and a leg they have a really bad alcohol problem where they drink and get paralytic, Russia and Finland are worse.  Russia has one of the lowest life expentency rates in an OECD country because of the amount of Vodka drunk.

    • MrV

       And people wonder why containerised shipping took over?

  • AnonWgtn

    I understand that during the 6’oclock swill era the lunch hours in offices were shortened to half an hour so that the office could close at 5pm rather than 5.30pm to allow a full hours drinking time.

  • SJ00

    So a $6 bottle of wine would now cost $12? What does that do to a bottle of $12 wine? The current bottle selling for $12 doesn’t want to be compared to a $6 bottle in $12 drag, so will put their price up. And the next thing you know, all prices have shifted up.

    OR you have 2 bottles of $12 wine on the shelf, one that has always been $12 and one that was $6. Which one is better quality? 99/100 its the $12 one, so no one will end up buying the previously cheap bottle of wine and that company will ultimately lose sells.

    Yeah great policy and so easy to manage. So Labour will then create a Minister of Wine Pricing, a Minister of Beer Pricing and a Minister of Spirit Pricing (because the same minister couldn’t do all 3..).

    And what happens when the $12 bottle company wants to do a special, so Countdown drop the price to $9? The shelf ticket will read ‘Was $12, now on special for $9 but back up to $12 because we can’t charge you $9’. Then the Greens will call an enquiry on Countdowns pricing specials.

    Cannot wait for this to come into effect!

  • Guest

    Labour is racist… after all, what’s gonna happen to all that centrifuged-out cask wine liquor? Can’t see casks selling for $60 each… maybe the port casks for particularly cheap vicars… but this alcohol isn’t about to just disappear. No, it will get the criminal element among South Africa drunk.